The stage is set and each of its players in place. Someone, however, forgot to tell the narrative to hurry the hell up. Advertised as a “darkly comic pop opera” this is a musical set in a Chicago music class. Our collection of protagonists are competing to write the new hit song for the appraisal of a hip, smooth yet arrogant musician. What initially feels like an oddly tame piece with a few decent laughs quickly becomes a bland production, with so much wasted potential.
When thinking of Irvine Welsh, the clear majority of us think of (what else) Trainspotting. One of the best of the best in modern literature, film and now theatre. Despite it being handled so perfectly in his other works, Welsh, in tandem with Don De Grazia, manages to remove any form of connection or understanding with the cast of Creatives.
The characters are completely stereotypical – down to the Valley girl and the goth – in this lazy piece where the only moral is a dreadfully tacked on message of acceptance in modern America. Often with the Fringe, it’s the shows we don’t originally expect much of that become the highlights. In the case of Creatives, it should be an easy sell: writing from one of the country’s finest novelist and playwrights and a solid cast who have tremendous vocals (albeit some with very dodgy acting, however). The story, however, is too drab and tedious to enjoy, even with the twist which, although has some merit, could have carried so much more gravitas.
Words: Dominic Corr
Picture: Heather Pasfield
Irvine Welsh: Creatives, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 16-28 (not 22), 4pm